Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has decided to purchase 378,000 tons of sugar for the strategic reserve this year. The decision was taken after the reduction bid prices for sugar by the sugar mills this season,
quoting just Rs. 17 per kg.

The ECC meeting was presided by the Finance Minister of Pakistan, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, who also declined the proposal made by the ministry of railways for condoning violation of Pakistan Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA)
rules in the procurement of 75 locomotives from China. He cited that granting the exemption or ‘condonation’ to PPRA rules is beyond his authority and only the Cabinet or the prime Minister are entitled with such power. The dispute between Punjab and Sindh
over the fertilizer exchange also remained unsolved by the end of the ECC meeting.

The ECC also approved appointment of a consortium led by IBIC of China and comprising Habib Bank Limited and ERNST-Young-FORD-Rhodes-Sidat Hyder as financial adviser for the $1.25 billion Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project to arrange
financing within 12 months to implement the project for delivery of gas by Dec 2014.

In a previous bidding, one of the sugar mills had offered the lowest price of Rs63 per kg while other bidders offered higher rates. Tenders were cancelled on the directive of the ECC when it was told that the wholesale price in
the open market was less than Rs50 per kg. The meeting was informed that the government could be taken to the Supreme Court if it purchased higher quantities from the two mills that were ready to offer more quantities because this would be considered a deviation
from an earlier ECC decision and PPRA rules.

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